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A day of rest and recovery

Today [Monday, December 19 - ed.] was our first rest day after a full weekend of racing, which was well spent. Usually, we are supposed to wake at 8, but Geoff was kind enough to let us sleep-in to 8:30. We wandered into the kitchen to make breakfast. Everyone is making different things: eggs, toast, oatmeal, left-overs, etc., so things get pretty hectic. Soon after, we get ready to head out for a ride.

It was early enough when we set out on our recovery spin that the roads were a bit icy from the night before. None of us expected that most of us would end up on the ground, flopping around like fish. It took us a few minutes to compose ourselves, but we got underway at 10:10.

We took an easy spin to Lichtervelde, where we charged into the local bakery and ordered an assortment of pastries. On the ride back to Izegem, Logan Owen had the misfortune of having two flats. After two speedy puncture fixes, thanks to Kolben Preble, we felt it necessary to storm into another bakery, but mostly to ponder the abundance of goodies.

After getting back from the ride, we set off to explore the town. A group of us decided to have lunch at a local café, where we ordered waffles, crêpes, steaks, and lots of frites! After spending a good hour and a half in the café we migrated to Verso's, a clothing store. We all felt the need to buy some "crilthy threads", or clothes in the Euro fashion. I know that bike racers don't usually walk around town looking for food and clothes, but it was one of those days where we had the chance, and we took it.

We walked out of downtown with full stomachs and new clothes. We soon had to get ready for dinner, which was signified by Els' renowned call. We all rushed down the stairs and filled our plates. To cap off the day, we have a team meeting with Geoff regarding how the day went, character building, and racing within the coming week.

We all really appreciate Geoff, USA Cycling, Els, and countless others for providing such a stellar opportunity to race bikes with the best of the best! Thanks to all.

One last note, help my friend, Drew Dillman, out and give him a follow on Twitter @dizzledillman.

That's all for now. Stay tuned for more on the progress of the 2011-2012 Euro Cross Camp.

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Euro 'Cross Camp is about to enter its 9th year and continues to go from strength to strength. Its vision is to offer European race experience to young, developing American cyclo-cross riders and to prepare them for the world championships in late January. Founded in 2003, it utilises the same infrastructure as the USA U23 road programme. This year there will be 20 riders involved and a staff of 12 will be on hand to cater for their every need at the base in Izegem, Belgium.

Throughout the Camp riders will be updating Cyclingnews users on a daily basis, offering them a fly-on-the-wall perspective on the ins and outs of life in a residential training camp and the progress that they are making. The riders will do between 6-10 races over the two-week camp under the watchful eye of Euro 'Cross Camp founder and director Geoff Proctor, who also serves as National U23/Junior Team Coach for the USA at the world championships and is a member of the UCI Cyclo-cross Commission.

Euro 'Cross Camp IX Roster 2011-2012

Andrew Dillman (Bob’s Red Mill Cyclocross Team)
Zane Godby (Clif Bar Cyclocross Development Team)
Curtis White (Clif Bar Cyclocross Development Team)
Tobin Ortenblad (California Giant-Specialized)
Logan Owen (Redline Bicycles)
Jordan Cullen (Clif Bar Cyclocross Development Team)
Cypress Gorry (Whole Athlete-Specialized)
Lionel Rocheleau (Team Geargrinder)
Luke Haley (Red Zone Cycling Team)
John Francisco (Red Zone Cycling Team)
Sam O’Keefe (C3/Athletes Serving Athletes)
Nate Morse (
Stephen Bassett (Bob’s Red Mill Cyclocross Team)
Spencer Downing (Clif Bar Cyclocross Development Team)

Yannick Eckmann (Pearl Izumi/Shimano)
Zach McDonald (Rapha-Focus)
Dan Gerow (Wolverine/ACFSTORES.COM)
Kolben Preble (Clif Bar Cyclocross Development Team)

Ryan Trebon (LTS/Felt)
Jake Wells (Stan’s No Tubes Elite Cyclocross Team)